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Massive crests, slippery and virtually unreadable road conditions provided a challenge but no barrier to Hobart’s Lee Peterson and James Booker when they took outright honours in round three of the Tasmanian Rally Series on the weekend.

The 2007 Hellyer Rally threw everything at the 16 starters, from deep water crossings to massive crests that launched the cars, to fast but unreadable roads that changed from grippy to slippery within a corner.

Locals Craig Brooks and Adrian Hodgetts in the Rogers Signs Subaru WRX were the first to fall to the gruelling conditions.  Brooks clipped a gutter that resulted in a gentle rollover, but it was enough to do damage to the radiator, puncture a tyre and inflict front and rear panel damage.  He was able to finish the stage, but limped into service with a badly damaged and overheating WRX after dropping a lot of time.  

Peterson, on the other-hand, was able to set some sensational times without damaging the ARM Subaru WRX, and eventually won the rally by nearly a minute.

“I’m just happy that I finished a rally and that I was able to drive fast on roads that I’d never seen before.  To take an outright win is icing on the cake, “ a very happy Peterson said at the rally finish.

The win awards them the coveted Vic Huddlestone Perpetual Trophy, which leaves the north-west of Tasmania for the first time since its dedication in 1999.

Second was David Waldon and Ross Ferguson in the e-Home Subaru Impreza WRX.  They too had a faultless run, needing only to wash the windscreen prior to the final stage. The Hobart-based team took the day fairly easily, safe in the knowledge that they had a huge lead in the series points.

Third went to Burnie’s Lynn Rattray and Lindon Hills in the Pirtek WRX.  This team had a faultless run, although they battled with handling earlier on, which was resolved at the midday service.

The 2WD category was hard fought right throughout the day, with Lee Marshall from Wynyard and Brendan Spurr from Burnie in a Datsun 200B taking 2WD honours.  In a huge last stage lunge, Nick Kingston and Ben Korpershoek snatched second position, but it came at a cost.  They ran wide and hit a stump, resulting in front end damage to the Smithton Laundry Service Commodore, but not enough to make them call it a day.   

They edged out Christian Philp and Mark Watkinson in the Rockit Asphalting TC Cortina, who had virtually rebuilt the car after a rollover in the previous round, and came in third in the category.

The Tasmanian Series is now all tied up in the points. Waldon has taken a blistering and almost unbeatable 58 point lead on 110, with Peterson, Rattray and Brooks all settled on 52 points.  The 2WD category is even closer.  Christian Philp has taken the lead on 80 points, but Craig Sault (Commodore) and Mark Kyle (Datsun 1600) are tied on 70 points.  

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